ZOOming Our Way Through Quarantine, Together
A message from WPF President, Adrienne Jandler
I attended the first WPF Zoom event, a ‘Dining In’ week before last. Coordinated by Amy Meinecke, and hosted by Jody Susong, it was a great event and a welcome chance to see some WPF sisters. Once we’d had a chance to say our hellos, Jody started conversation with the question “What are you doing for the first time, due to being sheltered in place?” As you might expect, there were answers like “dyed my own hair” and “gave myself a pedicure”. I’ve actually done neither of those – my gray roots are coming in like champs and my feet would make a Hobbit jealous. I really couldn’t think of anything I’ve done for the first time to contribute to the conversation. As more and more sisters shared their ‘firsts’ I really started to ponder how it is possible that I have done nothing new during this time. And then it hit me.
When we bought our house – some 18 years ago – one of my favorite features was a lovely front room with lots of natural sunlight. I knew at first sight that it was destined to be “my” room – both a library and office. I had a wall of built-in shelves put in, and on the opposite wall, a built-in desk I’d carefully designed with additional shelving overhead. I painted the room a happy coral color, added family photos, some whimsical art and named it ‘The Flamingo Room’. It was perfect. Funny thing, though. I’ve never really used it. I loved the thought of it, but I had an actual office across town, and when I got home each day, always opted to spend time with my husband and dogs elsewhere in the house. The Flamingo Room turned into a lovely room where my books were stored, and where we would occasionally put the Christmas tree. I don’t think I’ve spent a total of 8 hours in that room in all these years combined. Now, while quarantining at home, I have moved my monitors and computer in, along with myself during business hours. For the first time since we’ve lived in the house, I’m actually using “my” room and that lovely desk… and loving it. How could it be that I was so busy that I have gone 18 years without using this beautiful room? A room I have walked past every time I came through the front door? It was a startling realization.
What other blessings have I been too busy to appreciate and taken for granted? What underutilized items that were once carefully deliberated on and selected? Does it go beyond ‘things’? What skills have I let wither? What hobbies forgotten? What people do I assume will always be there?
Turns out, there are many.
I’m not that friend on Facebook who has spent her quarantine time cleaning the house top to bottom, gardening and re-landscaping the yard, and cooking elaborate meals. I have done zero crafting and I have NOT watched every episode of every series on Netflix. I’m working long hours, focused on helping my clients through this while keeping my employees in a paycheck and I’m mentally drained at the end of each day. I’m the one watching mindless television for an hour or two before drifting into a fitful sleep. But I’m also seeing my life with fresh eyes. My blessings. The amazing husband, family, friends and clients who enrich my life beyond measure. Taking pleasure in long walks with the dogs and recognizing that it’s a treat, not an obligation. I am actually enjoying the little things more, and taking my nights and weekends to rediscover myself, and what is truly important. And for that, I’m deeply grateful.
What are you discovering during this time? I hope that you, too, are finding some unexpected benefits. Here’s to our health, and the chance to share a laugh and perhaps a hug, soon. Until then, hope to see you online.
New Member Application Deadline July 1, 2020
As you know, the April and May WPF meetings have been canceled due to the Coronavirus. The Board of Directors has approved postponing the deadline for new member applications to July 1 this year. The admission date for new members remains September 1. Our policies and procedures provide that all applicants must have attended three meetings with their three sponsors within a year prior to the application deadline. For 2020, that year will be 13 months, to account for the postponement of the application deadline.
If you have any questions or plan on sponsoring a new member this year, please contact Membership Chair Melanie Tuttle firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so that the committee can provide timely guidance and assistance.
SAVE THE DATE • SAVE THE DATE • SAVE THE DATE • SAVE THE DATE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2020
Please mark your calendars to for the annual Holiday Bazaar – it will be here before we know it! The Bazaar Committee is already hard at work and would like your help. They will be inviting your favorite vendors back this year, but are also looking for suggestions for new vendors. Please send your ideas or recommendations to Amy Baradell, email@example.com.
Helping Where We Can
As we continue to shelter in place and are unable to hold our monthly luncheons, the WPF Board of Directors donated $2,226, the funds allocated for May luncheon, to Guilford Education Alliance (GEA). Due to the pandemic, Guilford County Schools will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. To keep students engaged and on-track, Guilford County Schools is providing educator-approved lessons, assignments, videos and other digital resources online and has asked students and their families to login and learn.
But, an undeniable technology gap exists:
• 65.7% of GCS students are in poverty and do not have a laptop or tablet at home (more than 47,000 students)
• 14.2% of GCS households lack Internet connectivity (more than 10,250 students)
GEA has partnered with Technology for the Future, a local nonprofit, to help fill this incredible gap. Through a challenge grant of up to $700,000, Technology for the Future brought the cost of re-conditioned laptops to $70 each. GEA is raising money to enable our school system to purchase 10,000 laptops. As of 4/20/20, 8,000 laptops have been distributed to GCS students in need. Our gift will make an impact and help our GCS students.
GEA will continue with the Laptop Project to help ensure that every child in Guilford County has access to learning and can stay connected. If you’d like to learn more or support the effort, here’s a link to more information. https://guilfordeducationalliance.org/laptop-project/
Last month, WPF donated $2,226 to BackPack Beginnings to help provide food for distribution.
BackPack Beginnings is continuing to provide essential food distribution. If you would like to make a personal contribution of funds, food, or assistance, please visit their website for regularly updated information on how you can help.
We Are Mission Focused
As we continue to navigate through these uncertain times, I know it is difficult for everyone to not get together. I have so missed our monthly luncheons lately and seeing your beautiful faces!
Work continues behind the scenes, though. As you know, the May luncheon is typically dedicated to the efforts of the Foundation and all the wonderful things that we are able to accomplish through our grants and GLE program. We feel that this is so important to share with you in person, therefore we have moved this meeting to the July luncheon.
What a celebration it will be to have us all together and to talk about the positive things we as a group are able to do for the community! Keep the Foundation in your heart during these times as we continue to work on our grants and GLE program.
This year, we received 26 Letters of Interest for support. Before the pandemic hit, we had asked 13 of those to apply for funding through our grants process. Cleary, the need for supporting our community organizations is greater than ever. More information will be coming in the next newsletter on the grants and we will share the 2020 WPFF Grant Recipients at the July meeting!
If you would like to make your donation early, we have provided a link below for you to do so. Give some thought to what you are able to give this year. We understand some of our members may have been personally impacted by COVID-19. If you are able to do the same or more than last year – that is wonderful. Every dollar counts and we will make a difference!
Upcoming SIGs Information
Tuesday, May 5, 7:00pm
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Book Club will take place via Zoom. Assume the usual format with socializing from 7 to 7:30 with discussion of the book from 7:30 to 8:30. This will be a new experience for some of us, so come with an open mind and enjoy the ride! Since this meeting is through Zoom, it’s important that you make a reservation in advance so that you will receive the Zoom link. To reserve a spot, contact Laura Burton at LBurton@foxrothschild.com.
Tuesday, May 26, 12:30pm @ Print Works Bistro
702 Green Valley Rd, Greensboro
This lunch topic is “how and when do you get involved in the friends situation?” Do you want to weigh in? What if you don’t think a friend is a good influence. At what age do you start helping your kids make good friend decisions? RSVP to Marlee Foster by noon Monday, May 25 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books & Arts
Healing Gardens Tour with Wine & Social Distancing!
Tuesday, May 12 @ 5pm @ Cone Health Cancer Center, Wesley Long Hospital
Join Mary Magrinat and Sally Pagliai for a tour of the gardens. We’ll meet in front of the Cancer Center at the Hands Sculpture. Wear your mask and be prepared to stay 6’ apart from fellow WPF’ers.
BYOB (or to be more precise BYOWAG!) and sip while we stroll. Serving wine will challenge our social distancing so we ask that you bring your own this time. RSVP to Mary at Mmagrinat@gmail.com. Rain date is Tuesday, May 19 @ 5 pm.
Online Weekly & hopefully (!!) .. Wednesday, May 27, 6:30pm @ Mark’s Restaurant
616 Dolley Madison Rd, Greensboro
Currently Dining Out is meeting virtually, via Zoom. Meeting is limited to 10 participants each week for ease of conversation. If you would like to be on Amy Meineke’s contact list for this, email her at email@example.com
Keeping fingers crossed that stay-at-home restrictions may be lifted some to allow us to meet in person, in some form, for our regularly scheduled meeting. Stay tuned to emails and website for updates. Dee Blake is our May host.
RSVP to Amy Meinecke at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, May 25.
Please check WPF website for updates. We hope to offer a Divas get together virtually in the near future!
Thursday, May 21, 6:00pm @ First Lutheran Church
3600 W. Friendly Avenue, Greensboro
Join us for our quarterly Business Meeting. A notice to members will be sent the week prior to the meeting. Look forward to seeing everyone! Questions? Contact Peggy at email@example.com.
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“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
~ Michelle Obama
DEVOTED TO DIVERSITY
Greetings from our newest SIG! We have been brainstorming about how to move forward without the ability to gather in person. We have started a list of books and movies to consider adding to your Coronavirus reading and watching lists:
Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, Debby Irving
Becoming, Michelle Obama
Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell
The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
The Sun Does Shine, Ray Hampton
Sing Unburied Sing, Jesmyn Ward
Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult
Just Mercy • Harriett • Green Book
Propublica: Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate
NY Times: Why the Virus Is a Civil Rights Issue: ‘The Pain Will Not Be Shared Equally’
OZY: Asian Anger: A Model Minority No More
For scheduling meetings (in person or virtual) on an inclusive basis, NCCJ has wonderful interfaith calendars that note holidays and cultural observances for most faith traditions practiced in our community.
Please e-mail one of us if you would like to participate in a watch party and discussion about one of these films or a book discussion in early May, and please send your suggestions for adding to these lists.